The Department of Environmental Health Science conducts a diverse array of research that generates information critical for analysis of the health risks posed by the mixture of chemical and microbiological agents present in community and occupational settings.

Investigators within the department have received funding from state, federal and international organizations and agencies, including the U.S. National Institute of Cancer, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Agency for International Development, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Georgia Cancer Coalition, and Georgia Sea Program.

Specific areas of study include: 

• Air and Water Quality • Environmentally Induced DNA Damage & Repair
• Aquatic Toxicology • Environmental ‘omics
• Cancer Etiology & Prevention • Food Safety
• Climate and Health • Global Environmental & Occupational Health
• Exposure and Risk Assessment • Industrial Hygiene
• Environmental Chemistry • Microbial Ecology & Infectious Disease
• Environment-Genetic Interactions & Interventions • Oceans & Health
• Environmental Microbiology • Reproductive & Developmental Toxicology

Research Facilities

The Department of Environmental Health Science (EHS) is housed in the Environmental Health Science Building on UGA’s South Campus (Building 1050 on the UGA Interactive Campus Map).  Our physical address, maps, and driving instructions can be found here.

The Environmental Health Science Building is approximately 23,679 square-feet in size of which over half is laboratory space and the remainder is split between classroom and office space. In addition, EHS faculty members have their laboratories in the Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, and Rhodes Animal Sciences Center.

The Department of Environmental Health Science houses office space for ten faculty members, three administrative staff, research staff, adjunct faculty, post-doctoral researchers, visiting scholars, and graduate students.

Facilities within the EHS include:

Alternative Toxicology Model Organism Research Laboratory

The Alternative Toxicology Model Organism Laboratory is located in Room 303 of the EHS Building with approximately 600 square feet. The laboratory is equipped for alternative and mechanistic toxicological research using the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. Regular equipment includes multiple centrifuges, microanalytical balance, two VWR refrigerator/freezers, one Revco -80 Co vertical Freezer, one Eppendorf MixMate® vortex mixer,  and one Thermo NanoDrop™.  Facility for C.elegans studies includes One AirClean PCR Workstation, four  refrigerated incubators, three Olympus stereo microscopes, one Olympus SZX9 fluorescence stereo microscope with digital camera and Image-Pro®Express software, COPAS BIOSORT system, NemaMetrix ScreenChip System with NemAnalysis software, and WMicrotracker-OneTM .

Contact: Dr. Lili Tang, PI

Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Research Laboratory

The bioanalytical mass spectrometry research laboratory and instrumentation are located at the UGA Complex Carbohydrate Research Center.  Wet laboratory and equipment rooms are fully equipped for biological mass spectrometry.  Equipment includes:  mass spectrometers (7T Bruker Apex Qe Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometer, Thermo Fisher Orbitrap XL Mass Spectrometer with Spectroglyph ESI-MALDI Injector, Thermo Fisher LTQ XL Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer, Agilent 8690/5973 GCMS), LCs, sample preparation (HTX TM-Sprayer (MALDI matrix and enzyme application), Microcentrifuge, minicentrifuge, sample vortexer, water baths, platform rocker, dessicators, SPE manifolds, sample filtration capabilities, two analytical balances), storage (Flammable solvent storage, Standard Refrigerator/Freezer, -20°C freezer), Olympus SZ61 Stereo Microscope with 6.2 MP digital camera, chemical hood, and additional shared resources include autoclaves, -80°C freezers, a Milli-Q water station, and 4°C cold room.

Contact: Dr. Franklin Leach, PI

Biomarker, Cancer Etiology and Prevention, and Mycotoxins Research Laboratories

Rooms 304 in the EHS Building, Room 225B, and Room 226 in the Coverdell Building contain a biomarker research laboratory, a genomics and proteomics laboratory, a cell culture room (225B), and biospecimen repository space for conducting biomarkers research, cancer etiology and prevention studies, mechanic toxicological studies, and mycotoxins research. Biospecimen collected from animals studies, normal and cancer human cells, and human epidemiological studies (blood, urine, and tissues) were used in these laboratories for development and validation of carcinogen-specific biomarkers, molecular epidemiological studies, chemoprevention studies, and mechanic-driven molecular toxicological studies of mycotoxins. These laboratories are well-established with many pieces of equipment for analytical and biochemical analyses, including a Thermo LC/MSn system, ESA HPLC-CoulArray system, two Agilent HPLC systems (1100 and 1200) with autosampler, Diodearray UV detector, and Fluorescence detector, one Thermo HPLC system including autosampler, Diodearray UV detector, and Fluorescence detector; a Beckman Coulter UV/VIS spectrophotometers ( DU800), a 96 well microplate reader for ELISA, a Labco speed vacuum system, a chromatography cool cabinet, a flourometer, multiple centrifuges, and microanalytical balance. Laboratories in Coverdell Building also equipped with a Fast Real Time 7500 PCR system, two regular PCR machines, an image system, 1- and 2-D gel facilities for genotypic and proteomic analysis. The cell culture facility including a culture hood, two CO2 incubators, and an Olympus inverted microscope can conduct researches on human liver, esophageal, lung, breast, and prostate cells studies. The biospecimen repository equipped with six Reveco -80’C freezers two -20 °C freezers and crytogenic facility has provided good resources for storage of human cells and biospecimen.

Contact: Dr. J.S. Wang, PI

DNA Repair Research Laboratory

The DNA repair laboratory is located in the state-of-the-art Coverdell Center for Biomedical Research with approximately 1,000 square feet. The laboratory is dedicated to elucidating the role of DNA damage and repair in mutagenesis and carcinogenesis caused by environmental carcinogens. This laboratory has major equipment for its research, such as cell culture facility, phase-contrast microscopes, cell culture incubators, water bath Isotemp 120, one -80 °C freezers, one -20 °C refrigerators, Sorvall Legend Microcentrifuge [LEG X1RTC]. PCR work bench station, NanoDrop ND-1000 Spectrophotometer for RNA/DNA quantification, Biorad C1000 Touch 96 Wells w/Gradient PCR Equipment and Biorad Real-time RT-PCR CFX96 Touch system are available for genomic analysis. The Coverdell Building has an approximately 20,000 sq. ft vivarium to house rodents. In this facility of nearly 20,000 square feet, rodents are housed in individually ventilated racks with automated watering.

Contact: Dr. Wentao Li, PI

Environmental and Molecular Microbiology Research Laboratories

The environmental and molecular microbiology laboratories in the Environmental Health Science Department are equipped for running routine microbiological assays as well as modern techniques for detection, enumeration, and community analysis of bacteria and viruses. Labs are approved for BSL2 (and BSL2+) work and include a primary workspace, biosafety cabinets, space for epifluoresence microscopy, multiple conventional thermocyclers and real time PCR machines, rigs for PFGE fingerprinting assays, a dedicated clean room and workstations for molecular work, and a dedicated lab for post-PCR processing.

Contact: Dr. Erin Lipp, PI

Environmental Exposure Assessment and Air Quality Laboratories

The Air Quality Laboratory is used to stage field studies, process air quality samples, and maintain and store air sampling equipment. Rooms 126 and 103 in the EHS building are dedicated primarily for research in air quality and environmental exposure assessment. The air quality lab (room 126) is outfitted with a standard wet lab facility and a freezer to store environmental samples. It also has a small climate-controlled room attached to it that is outfitted with an analytical balance (Cahn 35 electro-microbalance) used to weigh filters for air monitoring research. The main portion of the laboratory is 350 ft2 and accommodates experiments in both traditional exposure assessment using environmental and biological samples, and environmental epidemiology. The lab has four computer workstations for data reduction and analysis for environmental exposure assessments and storage space for field instrumentation. Additional field instruments for air quality research (cyclone pumps, high capacity filter units, etc.) are stored in the EHS storage room (105E; 306 ft2). The lab includes a dedicated and climate-controlled room for high-precision gravimetric analysis of fine particle samples. Specialized equipment for conducting research in air quality include a variety of particle and gas sampling systems such as the Federal Reference Method samplers for PM2.5, inertial impactors, and cyclones, as well as a host of absorption samplers for gases and aerosols.

Contact: Dr. Luke Naeher, PI

Environmental Genomics Research Laboratories

The environmental genomics laboratory, Room 300, is a 549 ft2 lab that was renovated with a gift from the Georgia Power Company. This pre-PCR lab is equipped with a chemical fume hood, biological safety cabinet, incubators, and microscopes. Pre-PCR methods (DNA/RNA extractions, sample libraries for next-generation DNA sequencing, etc.) are conducted using pipettors, an OpenTrons robotic workstation, centrifuges and other small equipment needed for DNA extraction and setting up PCR reactions. PCR and post-PCR experiments are conducted in room 120, an 865 ft2 teaching laboratory, along with room 130, a 205 ft2 research laboratory, with shared instrumentation (e.g., DNA thermocyclers, a real-time PCR systems, gel electrophoresis systems, power supplies, centrifuges, freezers and a photodocumentation system). EHS researchers also make use of the Georgia Genomics and Bioinformatics Core (GGBC; a shared core laboratory at UGA; see:

Contact: Dr. Travis Glenn, PI

Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Research Laboratory

Work in the reproductive and developmental toxicology lab focuses on 3 major themes: 1) Impacts of Environmental Exposures on Human Spermatogenesis, 2) Regenerative Medicine, and 3) Drug Discovery. The lab primarily uses human pluripotent stem cells and our novel in vitro model of spermatogenesis to examine the effects of environmental exposures on spermatogenesis as well as identify potential male contraceptives. In our regenerative medicine portfolio, we use non-human primate pluripotent stem cells as a platform to begin deriving stem cell-based therapies for future development of treatments for male factor infertility.

Contact: Dr. Charles Easley, PI